Benchmarking is important in business, it’s the process of checking out how you compare against your competitors. Through this process you find out how you are placed in the market, whether your products are up to date, correctly priced and efficiently produced. This is important and will help you improve your business and work out your strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. I would go as far as to say that if you are not benchmarking, you are running your business, at least partially, blindfold.
So is this comparing yourself? I’d say comparing yourself is quite different. This is the process whereby you wonder if others are better than you. The way my mind does this is by comparing myself to the best at marketing, the best people at dealing with their staff, the best people at making money, the best at looking after the family and so on. It is of course in the nature of things that you are not best in category at everything. What I’ve found it that comparing myself to other businesses in this way is a form of modern day torture of the soul. It’s a great way to convince myself that I’m not successful at all, that others are better than me blah, blah blah. Of course that sort of thought rattling round your head is a load of old nonsense.
So if you want to improve your business benchmark it against your competitors, but make sure you don’t play the comparison game.